BA History (1989), MA Women's History (1992)
For the past decade Kate Cary has been contributing to the Warrior series under the pseudonym, Erin Hunter. The series follows the adventures of four Clans of wild cats in their forest homes. Kate wrote the first two books in the series; Into the Wild reached the Booklists Top 10 fantasy books for 2003, and is about to start her fifth Warrior series of books. As well as contributing to the Warrior books Kate has also been writing under own name publishing Bloodline in 2005 and Bloodline: Reckoning in 2007.
"I chose Royal Holloway because I’m a romantic; I fell in love with the building. I imagined myself sitting in a turret, writing scholarly essays. Meanwhile, my common-sense self noticed that Royal Holloway was near London, but not in London, which suited me perfectly.
"My time as an undergraduate at Royal Holloway was one of the happiest times of my life. I still remember Professor Riley-Smith's advice – before you start writing anything, THINK! To a young woman who’d spent her life obediently learning and regurgitating facts for exams, the idea that I could form an original opinion was splendidly liberating. You get the most out of anything if you’re prepared to take the initiative. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Royal Holloway gave me the confidence to ask.
"My advice to aspiring writers would be don’t be daunted by rejection. Read, read, then read some more. Relish any writing better than yours and learn from it. As a writer, you can only ever improve. Learn the business – agents and editors are snarky creatures, well aware of their power as gatekeepers for the publishing industry. Learn their rules and play by them; there are plenty of blogs written by very experienced agents and editors that will teach you all you need to know to get published. Bear in mind that publishing is changing; e-books have made self-publishing a viable alternative for new writers. Of course, the fundamental rule applies: if you want your book to sell, it has to be good. Read your own work critically and rewrite and rewrite until you’re sure it’s unputdownable."